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MITA’s Clean Up event on World Environment Day

Publication Date: Jun 27, 2019
 
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Written by Ritianne Borg Grech

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To boost the Agency’s Green notion, MITA embarked on a corporate mission to encourage waste, reduction, reuse, recycling, and resource recovery.

 

Every June 5th is the World Environment Day. On this day, communities and individuals around the world work to increase awareness of the importance of conserving the environment, the positive global impact of environmental regulations and controls and engage in activities that serve to educate and improve their environmental issues locally.

 

MITA, in collaboration with The Gaia Foundation, embarked on the first green corporate social responsibility initiative outside the Agency’s parameters. Gaia is an environmental non-governmental voluntary organisation founded in 1994. The foundation manages two sites of ecological importance, which are part of the Natura 2000. These sites are Ramla l- Hamra on the Island of Gozo and Ghajn Tuffieha in Malta. The organisation also has a tree nursery where they grow a number of endemic and indigenous species, and they also patrol the site to raise awareness on how people can enjoy the sites without harming it.

 

IMG_0070.jpgFollowing a call for volunteers, several employees expressed their interest to contribute towards this green initiative. They started in the early morning, heading their way to Ramla l- Hamra, Gozo. The aim was to start with the coastal zone cleaning as early as possible in order to avoid the blazing sun.

 

Initially, the amount of waste collected was small but once focus was given to the outskirts of the beach the volume started to increase. The collection of waste ranging from various plastics, metal and glass took place over the span of a few hours. At the end of the morning the group ended up with numerous bags of waste including a plastic tractor, geyser and foam mattress. The waste was meticulously separated in the appropriate recyclable garbage bags and collection was co-ordinated shortly after the event by The Gaia Foundation.

 

Proper waste management practices were implemented throughout the whole event. In fact, volunteers were urged to bring their own drinks using non-disposable bottles. This avoided a waste of approximately 120 small plastic bottles.

 

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything” (George Bernard Shaw). The more people participate in clean-up efforts, the more it helps to build awareness, solidarity and collective action.

IMG_0140.jpgDuring this event, appropriate health and safety measures were also taken into consideration. Organisers provided reusable plastic gloves to all volunteers including hand pickers.

Beach pollution is one of the biggest controversial issues in the new era. It not only affects the habitat of the marine life where the animal’s habitat is being ruined, but it also has effect on humans who are exposed to the waste that are put out in the sea. Overcoming beach pollution is a tough obstacle, but with the power of all individuals, beach coastlines should take a much better view.

 

This is only one of the initiatives that the Agency has undertaken during these last months. The scope behind these initiatives is not only to reduce waste but also create awareness of the major global environmental issues.